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Cool Smashers, Crossover eye win No. 3

Games today (Thursday)

3:00 pm. — Army vs Creamline

6:00 pm. — Chery Tiggo vs BaliPure

ILOCOS NORTE – Fancied Creamline and tough Chery Tiggo set out against separate rivals today (Thursday) hoping to ride the crest of an inspiring start and build up for their much-awaited clash on Sunday in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra here.

The star-studded Cool Smashers, who ruled all but one of the last four conferences of the then semi-pro PVL league before the pandemic halted play last year, face the resurgent Black Mamba Army Lady Troopers at 3 p.m., eager to finally unleash their true might following a pair of four-set victories over the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors and the Petro Gazz Angels.

But the veteran-laden Army crew is coming off a victory over BaliPure late Tuesday in a big bounce-back from its setback to Petro Gazz last Sunday, making its 3 p.m. showdown with Creamline a stern test as to its chances in the spirited chase for semifinal berths in the single round elims among 10 teams leading to a crack at the crown and bragging rights as the first to win the league’s inaugural pro championship.

Jema Galanza, hobbled by a badgering knee the last time out, hopes to play in top shape and add firepower to an already-formidable Creamline offense anchored on Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao and Risa Saso.

New recruits Jeanette Panaga and Tots Carlos have actually adjusted and fit into Cool Smashers’ system this early with the former exploding for 15 points and the latter chipping in seven points in a two-set stint against the Angels.

But the Lady Troopers sure are coming into the match ready to neutralize the Cool Smashers’ power on a roster made up of Royse Tubino, Jovy Gonzaga, MJ Balse-Pabayo, Joanne Bunag, Angela Nunag and playmaker Sarah Gonzales.

The Crossovers, on the other hand, seek to extend their straight-set roll as they collide with the BaliPure Water Defenders at 6 p.m.

Games are telecast live on One Sports (Free to Air), and One Sports+ (Pay TV) with both channels available for linear streaming on Cignal Play and on gigafest.smart and www.pvl.ph.

Bannered by Jaja Santiago, Dindin Manabat, Arianne Layug, Joy Dacoron and Jasmine Nabor, the Crossovers dominated the PLDT and Cignal HD sides to underscore their readiness to contend for the crown in their first foray in the country’s premier league organized by Sports Vision and hosted by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte.

But the Water Defenders remain hopeful of pulling off a reversal after falling short against the Lady Troopers with Grazielle Bombita, Bernadette Flora, Genevieve Casugod and Ezra Barroga out to redeem themselves and put the team on track.

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